tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC December 21, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
jane: knowledge is power. good afternoon, everybody. i'm contessa brewer. breaking news. police preventing a possible terrorist attack in italy. reporters demanded answers from investigators in italy as bomb crews swarmed an empty subway car intent on defusing a bomb. in rebibbia a conductor spotted the device hidden under a seat on a train. police described the explosives contained in the device. rome's mayor said it did not have the capacity to explode.
>> a lot of these homegrown, home hatched plots financed from outside the country where the plots are put together, do not necessarily have relationship to plot threats elsewhere. >> great britain says 12 men arrested there yesterday were intent on bombing landmarks, tourist sites and other public spaces. they say it was significant and targeted several british cities. the holiday has become popular plot seasons. abdulmutallab tried to ignite the explosives in his underwear. right after christmas in 2001, richard reed, the notorious shoe bomber tried to blow up a bomb by igniting his explosive shoes. >> everything from airline travel to malls to shopping
centers to christian churches. >> and nbc's martin fletcher is in london. martin, what are you hearing about the device that was found in rome? >> well, contessa, the mayor said it was not set to explode. there was no detonator in the grocery bag. there were wires, pipes and explosive materials but no detonator. there were suggestions maybe it was set to explode remotely. the point is they found it in time. the italian mayor says they checked subway stations, buses, and there is no danger and nothing for the people of rome to fear. this spread of potential attacks, arrests in london and britain, the suicide bomber in stockholm a couple of weeks ago, they are all worrying but no
sign they are coordinated. very scary at the moment. >> i know you are keeping tabs on the new developments and will check in with us if something new pops up. a senior partner at flash point global partners and nbc analyst. we heard you talking about the raised awareness, alert level that has gone up because of plots developing. we are finds out about them. what do you know about what might be behind this device in rome? >> if you look at the device in rome there doesn't appear to be a detonator. that tells us whoever built this bomb is a novice or it is someone that didn't intend for this bomb to go off. it was meant as a warning. either way it doesn't sound like al qaeda, per se. it might be a homegrown extremist group tied to al qaeda.
whether it is italy or greece, there are other groups that are culpable. we have extremists in greece and italy who are capable of this kind of attempted attack. >> if you look at the protests against austerity measures, they can be full of terror because they become violent and dangerous and threaten civilian populations as well. let me ask you about the new details about the plot in great britain. 12 men arrested, five of bangladeshi origin. >> british authorities are saying there weren't imminent attacks coming, it wasn't a matter of days. nonetheless they are talking about landmarks and shopping centers. these individuals were potentially conspireing to attack shoppers supposedly around the holiday season. it mirrors what we saw in stockholm.
not necessarily that the two attacks are linked, part of the same conspiracy, the idea that al qaeda, homegrown extremists are targeting soft targets, shoppers, churches. >> four days before christmas, are you expected to learn about new plots percolating around the world? >> we hope not. it is difficult to know whether or not this chatter is simply people trying to scare other people or whether there are individuals out there, whether they look for al qaeda, doing this on their own who are going to try to take advantage of omar abdulmutallab's attack and grab a headline. our hope is not. there might be someone foolish enough for trying to carry that out. >> coming up, we have an inside look about how air marshals
train to prevent attacks. my big question today, do newly exposed plots encourage passengers to have more patience with the security precautions during travel? i would like to hear your thoughts. you can weigh in on twitter and facebook. it is last-minute wrangling and votes on capitol hill. we are waiting to hear from kristin gillibrand. they are moving forward on the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, but the debate is ongoing. >> our top concern should be the safety and security of our nation not some politician's desire to declare a political victory and host a press conference before the first of the year. >> the facts are that this treaty is not being rushed, this treaty was delayed at the request of republicans.
>> senator james rich is a republican senator from idaho. senator, it looks as though there are enough republican votes to ratify the treaty if every democratic senator votes to support it. what is your reaction to this moving forward? >> i think it has been a missed opportunity. we have been talking about this for some time. there is no question. there are half a dozen very serious issues such as missile defense, verification and technical weapons just to name the three most important to me. it really deserves some more time. as you point out, the -- there's probably enough votes to pass it. that is probably what is going to happen at the end. it is unfortunate we didn't have more time to advance things. the modernization issue which started out as a huge issue has moved forward dramatically as we
discussed this. the second, and to me the most important, is missile defense. we really haven't made much progress as far as missile defense. as you know, a lot of us contend that the treaty is giving up our right to defend ourselves in a lot of respects. that is something that shouldn't happen. >> let me ask you, i mentioned senator kyrstin gillibrand is expected to talk about the 9/11 first responders bill. in fact, she is talking right now. can uh get your reaction to this? the bill has been reduced from $7.4 billion to $6 billion. with that garner more support? >> i can't tell you whether that will garner more support. what will, is if you took the bill and put it through the regular process. this bill has not been through any committee of the united states senate and it is thrown out on the floor to vote on without having the information
that you should have after hearings, not the least of which is what happened to the last money put into this. you can't argue with the cause being a good cause. that doesn't mean you grab a hold of it and run with it because it is a good cause. it needs to be refined. i was hoping that would happen. who knows, before it is over, it will. >> you have been critical of president obama's spending priorities. you voted against the government spending bill. the senate has to move forward on a tech rare bill to fund the government. you co-sponsored a bill to end earmarks. in the last bill you co-sponsored 76 earmarks yourself. why would you do that if you are against earmarks. >> that is a really good question and difficult to explain. the earmarks myself and the other senator for idaho put in were done about a year ago.
i have sponsored, as you know, a bill to get rid of earmarks. fortunately, we were able to kill the bill that had all the earmarks in it. i'm not going to put in anymore earmarks. people up here have committed themselves to getting rid of this arcane process and not doing earmarks again. >> senator rich, i appreciate your time today, sir, thank you. >> thank you. >> let's go back to the senate floor where senator gillibrand is talking about the bill. these new york senators have been outspoken proponents of making sure the first responders get the help they need to treat the illnesses that it looks like they got while they were working at ground zero. >> pass the bill. the bottom line is very simple. i believe we have the votes to prevail. the only thing standing in our way is people who might want to run out the clock. they can't succeed with the
votes. so they're going to try to delay and delay and delay until time runs out. we plead with them. please do not do that. that is not fair. that is not right. and that flies in the face of america. an america that says when you risk your life for us we will be there for you if you get injured. >> this was the bill that the 9/11 health and compensation act named for a police officer who died from the illnesses that he got because of his work down at ground zero on that day in 2001. we'll keep our eye on the progress. you are hearing the push from the new york delegation and jerry nadler among others behind senator schumer. developing, a puerto rico national guard helicopter crashed into the ocean. emergency officials fear all six
people onboard were killed. two of the passengers are prosecutors with the local justice department. the other four are national guardsmen. we'll keep you up to date. it is a wicked wallop of weather out west forcing thousands from their home. in parts of california heavy snow is coming down in feet not in inches. what you are seeing here the rain. authorities have just found four hikers who were missing above flood swollen creek. crews are bringing in a rescue crew. the rocky mountain state is facing rocky weather. colorado being hammered by whiteout conditions. 80-mile-an-hour wind gusts. let's go to the weather channel in la canada, california. who is it looks, eric? >> it is getting more serious,
contessa. we have new additions to our set. the police came in a short while ago and posted no parking zones. dpw crews are going to have to come in by later today and they are expecting the risk of mudslides to increase. this was full of cars just about 20 minutes ago. now it is empty as these crews had to get out. all that is left is two satellite trucks. we will have to move out of the area. we are expecting one more area of low pressure to move into the coast. it will be the strongest since friday. we will see five inches of rain in the foothills of the san gabriel mountains. that could cause massive mudslides. we have flooding in this neighborhood in january and february. 40 houses were damaged or destroyed. they are hoping they won't see a repeat performance. the prospects are not looking
that good. >> thank you for the update. breaking news from heathrow airport. the second runway just hoped. americans are stranded, they can't collect their luggage. they can't get out. they promised to have the military clear the backlog, after four days patience is in short supply. >> if you look around, there are people lying on the floor which is kind of bad, but, yeah, i guess that is the way it goes. >> i think we are on a flight with luftanza. >> stephanie gosk is at heathrow. they got the second runway up. will that help get these people
off the floor? >> reporter: yeah, contessa, of course it will help. it will certainly speed things along. still the company that runs heathrow says they are not completely operational until thursday morning. once they get operational, there is such a large backlog of passengers they will go well into christmas and beyond trying to get those people to their destinations. if americans had canceled flights over the last three days they can't move until christmas eve or christmas day. there is lots of frustration. there is frustration from people in this country on how it could possibly have taken so long to clear the runways in heathrow. it is not just the airports, too, it is if trains as well. people trying to get out of london to go to paris have faced
huge problems. they have been waiting in seven-hour lines. one of every four of those trains has been canceled. the ex-boyfriend of a missing las vegas showgirl is accused of hitting and kicking her. now investigators want to know what he knows. it looks like spider-man himself might need a bit of a rescue in his broadway show. a serious injury. i'll tell you the whole story ahead. it's that time of year. time for campbell's green bean casserole. you'll find the recipe at campbellskitchen.com. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™
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episode. flores is missing, last seen december 12th. griffith is cooperating with their investigation. kristen welker is in las vegas. set the scene. what is happening? >> reporter: well, jason griffith didn't show up today at cot. he was arraigned through his attorney, charged with coercion. that is essentially a legal term for when you try to prevent someone from doing something. he tried to prevent debbie flores, the missing woman from using her ipod. in the midst of that scuffle he wound up kicking her and pulling her hair. this happened in october. his next court date is set for april 14th. we want to stress that this hearing does not have a connection to her disappearance. again, debbie floerz who was a danners on the las vegas strip was last seen on december 12th. she left rehearsal, went home
and according to her sister said to her roommate she was going back out to see her ex-boyfriend jason griffith. he reportedly confirmed he talked with her for a few minutes that night. he said she then left. she hasn't been seen or heard from season. this morning on the "today" show her sister pleaded for help. >> she is a loving, wonderful person. everybody has a loved one, if you have any information, any whereabouts if you saw her that day, that night, in her car, in the parking lot, any little detail contact the authorities and let us know anything. any clues can lead to possibly finding her. >> police are going to hold a news conversation updating this information in about 40 minutes they are saying griffith is cooperating with them. they have not named any suspect
in this information yet. contessa? >> kristen, thank you. caught on camera, a car plowing into a crowd of schools at an elementary school and what happens next will shock you. hot on the web today. a thai woman is arrested for swallowing 1,200 ecstacy pills in plastic. she had to swal lo 90 times to get them all down. she could face the death penalty under indonesia's tough drug laws. holiday gift givers are being urged to research spas. inspections reveal there are problems with spas meeting state standards. it is something to think about. nothing says i love you, happy holidays quite like a spa infection. shaniya twain is engaged.
she is marrying a swiss business executive who was married recently to shaniya's best friend. the friend was linked to shaniya's ex-husband. are you following the twisted road? it could be fodder for a country song. we'll be right back. ♪ yes! yes, yes, yes! [ laughs ] ♪ [ male announcer ] you know her. we know diamonds. and with 25% off our best selling jewelry, together we'll find the perfect gift, right down to the wire. that's why only zales is the diamond store.
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the car off the victims. the driver may have been having family problems. an actor in the spider-man musical was seriously hurt in the musical. that wire is supposed to hold him on the platform. it snapped. he fell 30 sfeet. the actor is in the hospital in serious condition. this is the fourth time an actor has been hurt at that theater. a very tired dog in germany is octo mom times two plus two, 17 rhodesian ridgeback puppies. they were born in september. the owner had to feed the puppies five times a day for the first month because what mom could make enough milk for that
many dogs. you don't know who they are, but there are thousands of air marshals protecting passengers in the sky. we have an exclusive look at the men and women flying undercover. plus complaints about this six-foot santa claus other than he is annoying. to stay fit, you might also want to try lifting one of these. a unique sea salt added to over 40 campbell's condensed soups. helps us reduce sodium, but not flavor. so do a few lifts. campbell's.® it's amazing what soup can do.™
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my professor at berkeley asked me if i wanted to change the world. i said "sure." "well, let's grow some algae." and that's what started it. exxonmobil and synthetic genomics have built a new facility to identify the most productive strains of algae. algae are amazing little critters. they secrete oil, which we could turn into biofuels. they also absorb co2. we're hoping to supplement the fuels that we use in our vehicles, and to do this at a large enough scale to someday help meet the world's energy demands. welcome back to msnbc. i'm contessa brewer. seven people were killed in iran after a 6.2 earthquake hit today. julian assange says he is the victim of leaks. the british newspaper "the guardian" published details on
the swedish police report. 30 rock star tracy morgan is recovering from a kidney transplant. the national organization of women is suing hooters for catering to kids. the lawsuit says the restaurants are adult entertainment, but serve minors and provide child men yous and booster seats. the effort to keep the skies safe from terrorists is an ongoing battle for american law enforcement. last christmas american flyers were set on edge when a passenger on a detroit bound flight tried to blow up the plane with a bomb in his underwear. tsa changed the way the u.s. trains its air marshals. tom costello got an exclusive look inside the program. what did you see? >> before 9/11 there was an air
marshal program. fewer than 50 marshals trying to cover flights. today there are thousands of marshals and try to triage the highest risk flights. they may be the most secretive, least understood component of aviation security. the exact number of air marshals is classified. the government will only say there are thousands, their identitied secret. nine years after 9/11, the air marshals insist the service has matured and evolved to match the constantly changing terrorist threat. while half the new recruits have some law enforcement background, the rest are former lawyers, students, stockbrokers, even teachers. 27-year-old brittany is just finishing the academy and under cover. >> this could mean you come face-to-face with a terrorist. sni i could. >> are you ready for that? >> i'm ready.
absolutely. >> this is ridiculous. >> reporter: today being ready means an intense focus on behavioral recognition. >> hi, sir, how are you? >> none of your business. >> watching for signs of stress, fear and deception that could give away a criminal or terrorist. then striking up a conversation. >> you going to orlando, too. >> this is about behaviors, involuntary responses to different stimuli. >> reporter: much of it is about deterrence. the marshals concede they never knowingly stopped a terrorist but train for the confrontation every day. at 35,000 feet marksmanship has to be accurate. the hope is that this never becomes necessary, that before a suspect ever boards a plane or makes it through a tsa checkpoint he or she is identified and pulled aside.
a the air marshal training compound in virginia they assess the risks of flights. >> we have to use our judgments to inform or decisions. >> reporter: the typical air marshals will fly over 1,000 flights. no napping. no frequent flyer miles. on the front line of a very real and lethal threat. 28,000 flights touchdown on u.s. soil every day. the complaint is you can pick out the air marshals. they are trying to address that with people who break the stereotypes like the marshal brittany who is probably not what you would expect. >> tom, thank you. speaking of airport security, the full body scanners, a report claims they might not be as safe as the tsa
claims. the tsa says a number of groups are making sure the devices are safe. aol news reports the groups that tsa listed say they have no responsibility. in a little more than an hour the senate is due to vote on ending debate on the s.t.a.r.t. treaty, it would re-establish a mutual inspection program similar to went s.t.a.r.t. one expired. ambassador richard burke was the chief negotiator with the former soviet union. it is good to talk to you, ambassador. give me a sense why s.t.a.r.t. is so important. >> i think that is the key question, isn't it? i don't think the administration has done a very good job selling this treaty.
there are two or three key issues here. one is really improving relationship that the administration established with russia, which led to russian cooperation in afghanistan, it led to russian support for sanctions against iran, it led to progress in a variety of areas like russia's succession to the world trade organization. if s.t.a.r.t. doesn't get ratified that is at risk, higher risk of iranian proliferation and more conflict in afghanistan. the problem of nuclear proliferation in iran or north korea are critical security problems. the inability of the united states -- undercut our ability to fight nuclear proliferation.
if we don't get this treaty ratified the united states looks incompetent. we lose our position of leadership in the global system. those are strategic goals and they haven't been prominently aired in this debate. >> a number of republican senators are not just up against and opposing the timing of this. they oppose some of the details. for instance, senator rich just told me he thinks there are problems that it somehow ties the hands of america's own defense when it comes to missile defense systems. do you think this weakens the united states at all? >> i saw that interview with senator rich. he said this treaty had not been discussed and debated in senate committees. he is completely wrong. this treaty was debated within the senator foreign relations for two months. there were over 20 hearings.
>> i think he might have been talking about the 9/11 bill. but there is a lot of -- senator barrasso was on with me and pushing back on the timing of this saying i think we need more time to explore what our sovereign rights are when it comes to defense and make sure america is protects on national security. >> well -- >> given what you experience in s.t.a.r.t. one is that a concern? >> no, it didn't. in fact, the debate over this treaty has taken longer, has been more extensive, had more hearings, the congress and senate in particular has been able to ask the administration more questions about this treaty than the treaty i negotiated in the early 1990s. i think this debate has been as thorough as any arms control debate in the modern history of the united states. that is why every former
secretary of state including all republican living secretaries of state, support this treaty. >> it looks like there will be nine republican supporters, lugar, collins, snowe, voinovich, brown, isaacson and cork corker, alexander, brown and bennett. thank you for your time. >> thank you. the u.s. population is growing at the slowest rate. 9.7% over the past ten years and the population is shifting, too. away from the northeast and midwest to the south and the west. so this means seven states will gain house seats, arizona, florida, georgia, nevada, texas, utah and washington. all areas the republicans tend to do well in.
eight states will lose house seats, those you are seeing in yellow. a total lunar eclipgs coinciding with the winter solstice. the last time it happened was in the year 1638. it happened about 1:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. eastern time. the moon took on a fiery red glow at one point as it passed into earth's shadow. the snow, the ice, the bitter cold could not stop fans from turning out to root for the vikings in minneapolis. crews worked to clear golfers stadium. brett favre, wlesz, his heart. surprised everybody. he started for the vikings after he missed the game with a shoulder injury, but he was sacked by the bears corey wooten in the second quarter, his
helmet slammed into frozen turf. he left the game with a head injury. the bears topped the vikings 40-14. brett favre repeatedly has said this will be his last season. the vikings have two games left. it is not clear if he will return to play in either one. regifting is becoming a common practice and you know why. because it is cheap. now the regifting pool just got a lot bigger for you. we explain how going online could help you give away your gifts. [piano keys banging] [scraping] [horns honking] with deposits in your engine, it can feel like something's holding your car back. let me guess, 16. [laughing] yeeah. that's why there's castrol gtx... with our most powerful deposit fighting ingredient ever. castrol gtx exceeds the toughest new industry standard. don't let deposits hold your car back. get castrol gtx. it's more than just oil.
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set at 5 million bucks. prosecutors want her to tell them where the money is hidden. the daily beast says she stashed away $14 million. they want her to cooperate with them getting some of the money back for victims. so far it looks like she is not doing it. cnbc reports that the judge says she is a flight risk and a risk about not appearing in court so he is revoking bail and ordering her to surrender in south florida. we are keeping our eye on annette bonnjorno going to jail. cold weather turning things upside down down under. it is supposed to be summer in australia. heavy rain has caused widespread flooding. helicopters have had to pluck people because of the fast rising waters. residents of an island shelled
by north korea last month continue to go home, returning there. many islanders have returned to yeonpyeong. those big box stars in the united states are hoping you will consider giving some of your christmas store in bulk. costco and home depot jumping into the retail game. their influence is growing. cnbc jane wells is in burbank. i have gone to lowe's to buy christmas gifts. >> reporter: i'm at costco. this is my second home. it is a nice way to get out of the rain. this one is in burbank. costco a top pick of j.p. morgan. the company has shown improvement especially in california. analysts say don't put all big box retailers into the same box. home depot, costco and target are up over 20%, walmart up 3%,
best buy and sears holdings, which owns k mart down double digits. we asked shoppers in costco how much holiday shopping. more food than gifts. >> most of my holiday has been online. you get the best prices. if you can get free shipping it is a no brainer. >> i'm doing some online this year. >> i'm sitting at my desk, warm room, no problem. >> reporter: no problem. one of the problems is goldman sac sachs, says online target, amazon, running out of toys. j.p. morgan says you can't expect any great deals this week. here's why. >> stock positions are fine. there is no real need to promote heavy. customers are buying full priced
items which bodes well for operating margins. >> reporter: high gas prices are going to be an issue next year. big box retailers will be hurt by gas prices. they showed the difference in the average round trip in gas cost and walmart and the dollar store, the difference is 24 miles, $24. that is quite a difference. >> if you are on a tight budget and go to a store that is closer and spend $5 more, you are not going to save more by driving to those other stores. >> reporter: absolutely. >> have fun. i wish you sweet dreams in your home of costco. maybe one of these days you will upgrade to an apartment. house speaker nancy pelosi holds an enrollment signing ceremoer is moany for the bill don't ask, don't tell. antonio martinez will be in
a baltimore court. he is accused of attempting to blow up an arm forced recruiting center. rachel maddow 9:00 p.m. eastern on msnbc. [ female announcer ] skin this soft needs the gentlest care... ♪ it's thinner than yours and loses moisture nearly two times faster. replenish it, two times a day with johnson's baby lotion. dermatologist tested, it's gentle enough to use both morning and night. for skin that's perfectly baby soft. johnson's, #1 choice of hospitals. everyone's eating tacos outside bill's office. [ chuckles ] you think that is some information i would have liked to know? i like tacos.
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loud and the guy who put out the santa got a ticket. ba humbug. the recession has taken regifting and put that in overdrive. i don't want to take total credit for the trend, but -- >> regifting is a bad practice and the spirit of the season -- >> no. >> is about that -- >> no. that is not the message. regifting in the spirit of regifting, i have gifts for you. >> oh, no. contessa, 2006. >> who among us wasn't at contessafest 2006. >> brian returned the favor. he gave me an nbc news luggage tag. it might have been used but regifting has gone to a whole new level online. you are going beyond gifts themselves to the gift cards. how does it work?
>> yes. hi, contessa. we buy unwanted gift cards and resell them. we buy a macy's card, $100, for $90, mark it up to $95. >> my dad buys me gift certificates to l.l. bean every year. i think i bought out the store. >> you could sell it to us, we would send you cash. >> your markup is five bucks on $100. >> it depends. walmart cards move quickly so we pie higher amounts. a merchant who doesn't move as quickly we pay out less. from 70% to 90%. >> you heard brian williams telling me regifting is a bad
idea. ethically, what is your take? >> if you get a gift card from us that is $100 for macy's and want to regift it, it still has $100. i see no problem with it. >> i think if somebody else is going to get more use out of it. don't regift books if they have been personally signed to you. found that out the hard way. jason, merry christmas, i hope you get everything you want and nothing you don't. >> that wraps up this hour for me. i will keep gifting you fun and informing hours all through the next year. i will be back tomorrow. president obama is going to sign the bill that repeals don't ask, don't tell. up next "andrea mitchell" reports. talking with dianne feinstein, jane harmon and the dnc chair tim kaine. there's a big idea happening in medicare
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